Secondary education

Make Irish history and technology a fun experience for students

Following an inspiring teachers’ workshop in 2014, Letters 1916-1923 has developed several educational packages to help teachers introduce secondary school pupils to original primary sources, digital research and Irish history. Each lesson plan comes with a collection of document packs, each of which is based on a letter from our collection and contains a summary of the letter, images of the original letter, a transcription of the text and information about the author and recipient. You will also find questions and activities for students and resources for teachers to facilitate the use of the letters in the classroom.

Autumn School | Letters 1916These lesson plans encourage students to engage directly with primary sources and with digital technology, bringing both well-known and ‘ordinary’ figures and events to life. The workshop participants trialled the lesson plans in their classrooms in 2014/2015.

Download lesson plans and documents packs:

Lesson plan I – Ireland at the time of the Easter Rising

Lesson plan II – Ireland and the Great War

Lesson plan III – a brief introduction to Irish life during the Rising and the First World War 

Lesson plans created in collaboration with the Irish Military Archives

In October 2015, the Letters 1916-1923 project and the Military Archives of Ireland launched additional education material at the History Teachers Association of Ireland conference. The ‘1916 in Transition’ material focuses on the aftermath and long-term social effects of the Easter Rising.

Autumn School | Letters 1916The educational package comprises several lesson plans developed for a teachers’ workshop that ran from 5-7 August 2015 and was generously funded by the Irish Research Council and the Department of Education. Each lesson plan makes use of material from both the Letters 1916-1923 project and the Military Archives’ digitised collections. The lesson plans therefore introduce pupils to sources found within national institutions as well as private collections.
These sources include the Bureau of Military History Witness Statements, the Military Service Pension collection and a wealth of accompanying material such as letters, photographs and other related documents. The innovative lesson plans encourage students to engage directly with primary source material while making them aware of the need to locate online material in a discerning way. The lesson plans introduce students to the events and personalities of the period from 1916 to 1923, facilitating further exploration of major historical themes. The educational material also encompasses a wide variety of exercises and activities including: textual analysis; student presentations; role-play; group work; booklet production and poster design. These activities will deepen student understanding of Irish history and bring individuals connected with the Easter Rising to life.

The lesson plans are now available online for use in the classroom on the ‘Search The Lesson Plans’ site. Letters 1916-1923 and the Military Archives wish to thank all those who contributed to their development. Moreover, we would be delighted to hear from any teachers who have already used the material in the classroom. We would be interested in receiving your feedback and suggestions on how the project can be enhanced as a teaching resource for secondary level students. We are also very happy to respond to any queries you may have relating to the project, just email us.